As their name implies, Wild Child jumps into a performance of reckless abandon rounded out by seasoned, mature restraint with Expectations, their fourth album, set for release on February 9th via Dualtone Records.  This record is a departure from their norm; they pull influences for a myriad of sources, embrace their moniker, and take a walk on the wild side.

The band’s desire to broaden and showcase their talents as well as their expansive musical stylings—something they believed they couldn’t achieve within the confines of one studio—called for travel and adventure in order to work with a dizzying number of producers. Influences abound, from Chris Walla (formerly Death Cab For Cutie), Chris Boosahda (Shakey Graves), Matthew Logan Vasquez (Delta Spirit), Scott McMicken (Dr. Dog), to Adrian Quesada (Grupo Fantasma). The Austin-based pop darlings branch out into the unknown, and our expectations are exceeded.

The core of the album showcases a vast array of emotion through its heart-wrenching stages: waiting, longing, breaking up, running back, and trying again. This approach combines so well with the various methods of production and song diversity—simply, it just fits. The sound meanders precisely, the intensity of punctuated drum rhythms emphasizes the desire displayed in their lyrical expectations of love.

The tone switches in ethereal, harmony-laden track “Sinking Ship,” which sweetly lulls us towards melancholy and almost an indifference that the proverbial ship is sinking, taking us with it into the depths of sweet, sweet heartbreak. Wild Child’s seamless ability to woo us—from the soothing to the angsty and devil-may-care—is further proof of their prowess and growth as a band. There is a jovial bounce to their musical step, even when smiling in the face of emotional destruction. Melodies are pushed along by horns, touches of piano add depth and warmth; in album closer “Goodbye Goodnight,” vocalists Kelsey Wilson and Alexander Beggins delight with their signature harmonies, and the album ends with a punch just like it began, a beautiful bow on a brilliant package.  With Expectations, Wild Child brings together the chaos of the world, and we like it. A lot.

[Click HERE to purchase Expectations, out February 9th via Dualtone Records.]

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[This review was handcrafted by Eo8’s own Sharon Zehender.]

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